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Deandre Ayton bests Luka Doncic in NBA debut for high-profile rookies

Deandre Ayton was widely considered the top choice for the No. 1 pick in June’s NBA draft.

But he wasn’t the consensus. There was a strong contingent who believed that Slovenia’s Luca Doncic was the best player in the draft and a steal for any team lucky enough to draft him after the top pick.

The Phoenix Suns went chalk, taking Ayton No. 1 overall, while the Atlanta Hawks selected Doncic at No. 3 before trading him to the Dallas Mavericks.

The Suns and Mavericks opened their seasons against each other Wednesday, pitting the high-profile rookies against each other in their NBA debuts.

Deandre Ayton showed off the post moves that made him a force at Arizona in his NBA debut. (Getty)

Deandre Ayton off to a nice start

The early edge goes to Ayton.

Ayton had an excellent debut, logging 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists on eight-of-11 shooting in a 121-100 Suns win.

Ayton opened the Suns’ scoring while showing Doncic the post moves that made him unguardable as a freshman at Arizona.


Solid, inefficient debut for Doncic

Doncic logged 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists while struggling from the field, hitting five-of-16 shots. He did show some of the passing and court vision that have basketball fans salivating over his arrival in the NBA.


Overall, the night belonged to another young Suns star, Devin Booker, who scored 35 while hitting six-of-10 3-pointers.

Neither of these teams projects to be competitive this season. But there is young talent on both rosters that should have fans excited about the future.

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